Student internships are an important part of many vocational, college and university programs. While working in a practice setting, interns explore and gain new competencies in addition to enriching or applying the skills and knowledge they already possess.
In Québec, a range of internships exists. For example, depending on their program of study, students may participate in internships involving observation, gaining and developing knowledge or applying their skills. The internships may take place in the public service, private companies, community organizations or business/training schools, and may last from a few days to several months.
The Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur has spearheaded a major project designed to develop a detailed status report on the situation and respond to the concerns expressed by the stakeholders.
The proposed scenarios stem from the work undertaken by the Ministère. They are designed to respond to issues related to student retention and student success, accessibility to studies and the quality of the student intern experience.
The solutions take into account the concerns expressed by the Ministère’s partners, including student associations, educational institutions, labour market stakeholders and other government departments involved with internships.
Guide to preparing internship agreements
The Ministère will prepare a guide intended for educational institutions to improve the student intern experience.
The standards established in this guide focus mainly on:
- the importance of signing an internship agreement between the educational institution, the workplace and the student
- the list of conditions that should appear in all internship agreements (number of internship hours per day and per week, terms and conditions for the termination of an internship, etc.)
- information about insurance for students during their internships
- best practices in pedagogical support and guidance and the drafting of clear internship objectives
The guide will come with tools designed to support internship workplaces and educational institutions.
This guide will be prepared in consultation with the various partners affected by the question of internships, including student associations.
Improvement of the Loans and Bursaries Program
In accordance with the provisions of the Regulation respecting financial assistance for education expenses, an increase in the allowable expenses for students who are doing an internship is slated:
- An amount will be awarded for educational materials to students benefitting from the Loans and Bursaries Program who are doing internships. In 2018-2019, this amount varies from $191 to $471 per period of study, depending on the level of education.
- Living expenses will be adjusted to better reflect lodging costs. In 2018-2019, an amount of $281 a month is added to the assistance granted to students who must rent a second residence in order to do their internships. This amount will be increased to $486.
Under the Loans and Bursaries Program, scholarship income for the purposes of calculating the student’s contribution taken into account when calculating the amount of financial assistance awarded to them comprises 100% of the amounts in excess of $5 000 received by the student as scholarships. The exemption level for scholarship income is slated to be raised from $5 000 to $7 500.
Bursaries to support student retention and success
A new bursary program to support interns in certain training programs in education, health and social services will be created. It will be aimed at encouraging future graduates to pursue their studies and succeed and will thus contribute to the educational success of students or the physical and mental health of the population. This bursary program will be available to just over 17 000 interns and will include the Future Teachers Appreciation Program.
Programs and bursary amounts
- Institutional and Home Care Assistance ($900)
- Health, Assistance and Nursing ($1 000)
- Nursing ($2 500)
- Early Childhood Education ($2 300)
- Special Care Counselling ($2 300)
- Respiratory Therapy ($2 200)
- Social Service ($2 200)
- Bachelor’s degree in education ($3 900)
- Bachelor’s degree in midwifery ($4 000)
- Bachelor’s degree in nursing sciences ($2 800)
- Bachelor’s degree in social work or social services ($2 700)
- Master’s degree in education ($3 900)
- Master’s degree in remedial education ($2 500)
- Master’s degree in speech therapy ($2 600)
- Master’s degree in psychoeducation ($2 700)
- Master’s degree in social work or social services ($2 700)
Aide financière aux études administer the program and information on the program is available on its website.